I'm another one who hates flashing banners! Infact I hate them all apart from the Google's Adsense type of banner ad.
The best way to promote merchants products would be through text links as mentioned above. This is because they convert well.
A study had previously been done and out of about 1,000 banner impressions only about 3 clicks would be made. That is very low! It will be hard to sell any type of product using banners or less you have lots and lots of visitors.
Banners also take up more space on your server and they also take longer to load than a normal text link.